[tdwg-content] What I learned at the TechnoBioBlitz

Bryan pbryan.heidorn at gmail.com
Mon Oct 11 17:29:14 CEST 2010

Sure does look like that would do it. We just need to include it as a
core element for a bioblitz.

On Mon, Oct 11, 2010 at 7:35 AM, Markus Döring <m.doering at mac.com> wrote:
> This seems to match the definition of the collectors field number:
> http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/index.htm#fieldNumber
> A slightly broader one is the eventID that usually groups several observations, e.g. when recording a plot:
> http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/index.htm#eventID
> Markus
> On Oct 11, 2010, at 16:22, Bryan wrote:
>> Another element is a link between images, sound or whatever and the
>> observation. This is useful since, at least for a time these media
>> items are independent of the main observation. All information about
>> the same object at the same time and place should be linked by an
>> event identifier. In collections work this might be the collectors
>> sequence number but any number/string such as Heidorn-20100915-215
>> that is unique to the item would be fine. It would be associated with
>> the main entry, images, sound or other records. In flickr this could
>> be put into a tag. Some cameras allow prefix and auto increment of a
>> trailing number which would work. Field observation tools could do the
>> same and on paper it could be Observer+Date+SequenceNumber or anything
>> else.
>> -- Bryan
>> On Mon, Oct 11, 2010 at 6:25 AM, joel sachs <jsachs at csee.umbc.edu> wrote:
>>> Katie,
>>> I entered your email at the bottom of
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>>> Joel.
>>> On Mon, 11 Oct 2010, k.flanagan at etoncollege.org.uk wrote:
>>>> Please could you tell unsubscribe me from this list? I've tried following the unsubscribe instructions from the website but that hasn't worked.
>>>> Thank you,
>>>> Katie
>>>> ________________________________
>>>> From: tdwg-content-bounces at lists.tdwg.org [mailto:tdwg-content-bounces at lists.tdwg.org] On Behalf Of Tim Robertson (GBIF)
>>>> Sent: 11 October 2010 13:00
>>>> To: joel sachs
>>>> Cc: tdwg-content at lists.tdwg.org; tdwg-bioblitz at googlegroups.com
>>>> Subject: Re: [tdwg-content] What I learned at the TechnoBioBlitz
>>>> Hi Joel,
>>>> Thanks for taking the time to summarise this.  A few comments inline:
>>>> On Oct 11, 2010, at 1:46 PM, joel sachs wrote:
>>>> One of the goals of the recent bioblitz was to think about the suitability
>>>> and appropriatness of TDWG standards for citizen science. Robert Stevenson
>>>> has volunteered to take the lead on preparing a technobioblitz lessons
>>>> learned document, and though the scope of this document is not yet
>>>> determined, I think the audience will include bioblitz organizers,
>>>> software developers, and TDWG as a whole. I hope no one is shy about
>>>> sharing lessons they think they learned, or suggestions that they have. We
>>>> can use the bioblitz google group for this discussion, and copy in
>>>> tdwg-content when our discussion is standards-specific.
>>>> Here are some of my immediate observations:
>>>> 1. Darwin Core is almost exactly right for citizen science. However, there
>>>> is a desperate need for examples and templates of its use. To illustrate
>>>> this need: one of the developers spoke of the design choice between "a
>>>> simple csv file and a Darwin Core record". But a simple csv file is a
>>>> legitimate representation of Darwin Core! To be fair to the developer,
>>>> such a sentence might not have struck me as absurd a year ago, before
>>>> Remsen said "let's use DwC for the bioblitz".
>>>> We provided a couple of example DwC records (text and rdf) in the bioblitz
>>>> data profile [1]. I  think the lessons learned document should include an
>>>> on-line catalog of cut-and-pasteable examples covering a variety of use
>>>> cases, together with a dead simple desciption of DwC, something like
>>>> "Darwin Core is a collection of terms, together with definitions."
>>>> Here are areas where we augemented or diverged from DwC in the bioblitz:
>>>> i. We added obs:observedBy [2], since there is no equivalent property in
>>>> DwC, and it's important in Citizen Science (though often not available).
>>>> Is this not the intention of recordedBy?
>>>> http://rs.tdwg.org/dwc/terms/#recordedBy
>>>> A list (concatenated and separated) of names of people, groups, or organizations responsible for recording the original Occurrence. The primary collector or observer, especially one who applies a personal identifier (recordNumber), should be listed first.
>>>> ii. We used geo:lat and geo:long [3] instead of DwC terms for latitude and
>>>> longitude. The geo namespace is a well used and supported standard, and
>>>> records with geo coordinates are automatically mapped by several
>>>> applications.
>>>> Keeping an inventory of applications somewhere might be worthwhile to help promote or decide on this.
>>>> Since everyone was using GPS  to retrieve their coordinates,
>>>> we were able to assume WGS-84 as the datum.
>>>> If someone had used another Datum, say XYZ, we would have added columns to
>>>> the Fusion table so that they could have expressed their coordiantes in
>>>> DwC, as, e.g.:
>>>> DwC:decimalLatitude=41.5
>>>> DwC:decimalLongitude=-70.7
>>>> DwC:geodeticDatum=XYZ
>>>> (I would argue that it should be kosher DwC to express the above as simply
>>>> XYZ:lat and XYZ:long. DwC already incorporates terms from other
>>>> namespaces, such as Dublin Core, so there is precedent for this.
>>>> 2. DwC:scientificName might be more user friendly than taxonomy:binomial
>>>> and the other taxonomy machine tags EOL uses for flickr images.  If
>>>> DwC:scientificName isn't self-explanatory enough, a user can look it up,
>>>> and see that any scientific name is acceptable, at any taxonomic rank, or
>>>> not having any rank. And once we have a scientific name, higher ranks can
>>>> be inferred.
>>>> 3. Catalogue of Life was an important part of the workflow, but we
>>>> had some problems with it. Future bioblitzes might consider using
>>>> something like a CoL fork, as recently described by Rod Page [4].
>>>> 4. We didn't include "basisOfRecord" in the original data profile, and so
>>>> it wasn't a column in the Fusion Table [5]. But when a transcriber felt it
>>>> was necessary to include in order to capture data in a particular field
>>>> sheet, she just added the column to the table. This flexibility of schema
>>>> is important, and is in harmony with the semantic web.
>>>> For citizen science, would it not make more sense to apply some easy guideline to select one of:
>>>> - HumanObservation
>>>> - PreservedSpecimen
>>>> - LivingSpecimen
>>>> (http://code.google.com/p/darwincore/wiki/RecordLevelTerms)
>>>> Basis of record is one of the fundamental fields to know when consuming content, so I think any effort to capture that at source will be worthwhile in the long run.
>>>> 5. There seemed to be enthusiasm for another field event at next year's
>>>> TDWG. This could be an opportunity to gather other types of data (eg.
>>>> character data) and thereby
>>>> i) expose meeting particpants to another set of everyday problems from the
>>>> world of biodiversity workflows, and ii) try other TDWG technology on
>>>> for size, e.g. the observation exchange format, annotation framework, etc.
>>>> Happy Thanksgiving to all in Canada -
>>>> Joel.
>>>> ----
>>>> 1. http://groups.google.com/group/tdwg-bioblitz/web/tdwg-bioblitz-profile-v1-1
>>>> 2. Slightly bastardizing our old observation ontology -
>>>> http://spire.umbc.edu/ontologies/Observation.owl
>>>> 3. http://www.w3.org/2003/01/geo/
>>>> 4. http://iphylo.blogspot.com/2010/10/replicating-and-forking-data-in-2010.html
>>>> 5. http://tables.googlelabs.com/DataSource?dsrcid=248798
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>> --
>> Bryan Heidorn
>> University of Arizona
>> http://www.sirls.arizona.edu/heidorn
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Bryan Heidorn
University of Arizona

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